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Baseball Daily Dose

Fried to the Max

by Janice Scurio
Updated On: April 20, 2022, 4:11 pm ET

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Atlanta Braves southpaw Max Fried was near perfect on Tuesday night; he began the evening by retiring 15 consecutive batters. But after giving up a leadoff single to right field that fell just short of Eddie Rosario’s reach, Fried continued to cruise to help the Braves to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, snapping LA’s seven-game winning streak. He left the game after seven strong innings, striking out eight, walking none, and giving up just two hits. 

Fried’s fastball looked especially crisp, but his secondaries looked especially strong: the slider, sinker, changeup. All of the lefty’s pitches were firing on all cylinders on Tuesday night against a difficult Dodgers lineup, one of the top offenses in the league. Fried had some tremendous movement on his sinker, fooling former teammate Freddie Freeman into a half-hearted swing-and-miss. Fried’s fastball velocity is also considerably higher this season - he averaged 93.9 MPH on his fastball in 2021, and tonight, that pitch clocked in at 97.4 MPH at its fastest. The slider was excellent for both whiff-inducing and location; he finished that evening with a 38% CSW on that pitch, contributing to a 30% CSW overall. 

Fried took what was a perfect game into the sixth inning, where he had retired 15 batters until Hanser Alberto turned a changeup around in the bottom of the sixth for a leadoff single, for the first Dodger baserunner of the game.

Fried was well-supported by his offense, including his battery mate. Travis d'Arnaud smoked a baseball that went 426 feet and left the bat at 107 mph in the second inning, off Walker Buehler. Orlando Arcia also hit an RBI double in the fourth, plating Eddie RosarioAustin Riley added to the tally with a single that drove in Ozzie Albies

Tuesday night’s outing is a much-needed bounce-back start for Fried, who came into this game with an 0-2 record and 5.73 ERA versus the Reds and Nationals respectively. Though he may not have been perfect tonight, he certainly can carry this good momentum forward.

Pitchers with an EDGE

Josiah Gray vs Diamondbacks

5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Don’t let the fact that the entire Diamondbacks lineup (minus Seth Beer) is hitting in the low .200s distract you from this great performance by the 24-year-old Nats right hander. Besides giving up a solo shot to Daulton Varsho in the third inning, Gray was quite masterful, striking out eight. Gray’s curveball was good for six whiffs and nine called strikes, contributing to a robust 36% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs).

Joe Musgrove vs. Reds

6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Another excellent start for Musgrove - he now has a 1.89 ERA and 0.74 WHIP through 19 innings pitched, alongside 21 punchouts and just one walk.

Max Scherzer vs. Giants 

7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K

Wowza. Mets fans were treated to a vintage Scherzer performance in his first home start at Citi Field in New York. Scherzer threw 106 pitches, 66 of them for strikes, and had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, broken up by Darin Ruf with an RBI single in the sixth. All of Scherzer’s pitches were working well for him, especially the changeup, which locked a few hitters caught looking – ending the evening with a marvelous 34% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs). 

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Hitters with an EDGE

Francisco Lindor vs. Giants

2-for-5, 2 RBI 

The fantasy superstar, marked for a bounceback season, hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning of the matinee game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. He’s also responsible for the game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning, then managed to swipe third base. He has a .289 batting average and 1.043 OPS through 48 plate appearances this season for the Mets, who now tout the second-best record (8-3) in baseball. 

Wander Franco vs. Cubs

2-for-4, 2 H, 2 RBI

Franco’s first tater of the year was a two-run bomb hit on a 2-0 count, blasted into the bleachers at Wrigley Field. The young superstar now has 16 hits to start the season – according to Sarah Langs, Franco now has the most hits in his team's first 10 games of season among players 21 or younger in the Wild Card era.

Seiya Suzuki vs. Reds

0-for-1, 0 H, 3 BB

The rising star’s nine-game hitting streak has come to an end, but three walks in four plate appearances certainly shows that he’s being pitched to - very carefully. While the Barry Bonds treatment may be temporarily sustainable, pitchers will eventually have to come up with more creative ways to get him out. He touts an impressive .429/.564/.929 triple-slash line in just ten games played so far.

Closing Time

Tanner Rainey vs. Diamondbacks - 2nd Save

1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB

A bumpy save for Rainey: he surrendered a dreaded leadoff single to David Peralta, then issued a free pass to Christian Walker. Pavin Smith then loaded the bases with a single, but Rainey managed to retire the next three batters to stifle a late-inning rally. With blood pressures rising, that’s two out of two save opportunities now converted.

Josh Hader vs. Pirates - 5th Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

An easy, breezy save situation for Hader, who made short work of the last three outs of the ballgame. Two groundouts and a strikeout ended a successful evening for Hader and the Brewers. Velocity has noticeably returned to Hader’s fastball, a crucial weapon used in this outing. With his fifth earned, Hader is now tied for the National League lead in saves.

Garrett Whitlock vs. Blue Jays - 1st Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB

Whitlock’s clean inning didn’t necessarily go without issue - he was limping as he walked off the field after trying to cover the bag on a grounder to first base. He was able to finish the save, however, getting Santiago Espinal to fly out, ending the game. 

Aroldis Chapman vs. Tigers - 2nd Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

A strikeout, a lineout, and a groundout were the capstones of this save situation for Chapman, earning his second of the year. He has yet to give up an earned run in 4 1/3 innings pitched over 6 appearances.

Andrew Kittredge vs Cubs - 2nd Save

2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Six up, six down and twenty pitches were thrown for Kittredge to earn his second save of the year. He now has a 1.69 ERA and 0.75 WHIP and 7 strikeouts, over 5 1/3 innings pitched. 

Josh Staumont vs. Twins - 2nd Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB

Staumont’s second save of the year included a 1-out free pass issued to Luis Arraez but otherwise retired the side to lock the win for the Royals. He’s got a 3.60 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in just five innings pitched.

Daniel Bard vs. Phillies - 5th Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Bard is now tied with Josh Hader for the National League lead in saves. He carries forward a 3.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 6 innings pitched over six games. He’s now converted five out of six possible save opportunities.

Kenley Jansen vs. Dodgers - 3rd Save

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Jansen locked down a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the win for the Braves, and for starter Max Fried

Zach Jackson vs. Orioles - 1st Save

1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB

A quick one-out save - Jackson struck out Anthony Santander to end the game, and pick up his first save of the year.

Priority Pickup

Thairo Estrada - INF, San Francisco Giants - Rostered in 24% of Yahoo Leagues

With Evan Longoria sidelined for until at least mid-May and Tommy La Stella just ramping up baseball activities recently, The 26-year-old has been filling in nicely for the Giants infield. With a respectable .440 wOBA on fastballs, he’s experienced some recent success. He’s now hitting .263/.282/.747 with 10 runs scored, two homers, eight RBI and one stolen base across 39 plate appearances.

Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day

Carlos Rodón (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 21K) vs. Chris Bassitt (2-0, 0.75 ERA, 14K)

In a blazing Wednesday evening matchup, southpaw Carlos Rodón will face righty Chris Bassitt at Citi Field in New York. Both pitchers are off to a terrific start to the season: Rodón carries a stellar 46.7% K-rate, and also leads the National League in strikeouts, at 21. Bassitt is one of the top pitchers in Yahoo fantasy, and leads the major leagues in ERA at 0.75 (minimum of 10 innings pitched). Both pitchers have gone through two turns through the rotation so far – both are also new additions to their respective teams rotations, and the dividends have certainly been paying off. 

American League Quick Hits

Tigers manager AJ Hinch said Tuesday during an appearance with MLB Network Radio that Matt Manning is dealing with some inflammation and tendinitis in his right shoulder. … Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that Hyun Jin Ryu could miss two or three starts. … Red Sox placed INF Jonathan Araúz on the COVID-19 injured list. … Red Sox placed C Christian Vázquez on the COVID-19 injured list. … Lucas Giolito (abdomen) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday in White Sox' extended spring training. … AJ Pollock (hamstring) is scheduled to play in a simulated game Tuesday at the White Sox' extended spring training facility. … Salvador Perez is again dealing with blurred vision in his left eye. … Jose Altuve (hamstring) will also be held out Wednesday, per Astros manager Dusty Baker.Mike Trout (hand) remained out of the Angels' starting lineup on Tuesday.

National League Quick Hits

Blake Treinen is unlikely to be available for the remainder of the Dodgers' series against the Braves due to a right arm injury. … Wade Miley (elbow) will throw another bullpen session Tuesday. … Stephen Strasburg (neck, shoulder) hasn't progressed to facing hitters yet. … Taijuan Walker (shoulder) could return to the Mets' starting rotation following Wednesday's rehab start in extended spring training. … Jacob deGrom (shoulder) will undergo a follow-up MRI on Monday. … Dylan Floro (shoulder) threw a 16-pitch live bullpen Sunday. … José Devers (shoulder) has resumed hitting and throwing from 90 feet. … Giants placed RHP Alex Cobb on the 10-day injured list with a right adductor strain. … Reds placed INF Mike Moustakas on the 10-day injured list with a right biceps strain. … Gavin Lux was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup on Tuesday due to back tightness…Tyler Stephenson left Tuesday night's game against the Padres following a collision at home plate. … Avisail Garcia left Tuesday night's loss to the Cardinals due to an upset stomach.

Janice Scurio

Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) is a writer that has appeared on various baseball podcasts and blogs about the White Sox over at South Side Sox.